Manchester United have re-signed Paul McShane to coach and play for their Under-23s team.
The 35-year-old starred for the Red Devils’ academy sides, but failed to make a senior appearance before leaving in 2006.
McShane has enjoyed spells with Hull and Reading during his playing career, but suffered relegation to League Two with Rochdale last season.
His return to Manchester United has been described as an ‘innovative’ appointment, which will see McShane represent the Under-23s side as one of three permitted over-age outfield players in Premier League 2.
The former Republic of Ireland defender said: “I am extremely pleased to be rejoining a club that means so much to me.
“I have been working on my coaching badges for several years and the opportunity to work with young players, whilst also playing in certain games, is the perfect role.
“I have developed a great deal of knowledge over my career and I look forward to mentoring and supporting the next generation of Academy graduates by passing on all of my experience.
“It feels very special to be back to where I began my professional career and I can’t wait to get started in supporting these talented players to reach their immense potential.”
McShane will work as a coach across United’s Under-15 to Under-23 teams.
Describing McShane’s appointment, United’s head of academy Nick Cox said: “Across the Academy, we have always taken an innovative approach to ensure that we continue our proud tradition of producing world-class players capable of excelling in Manchester United’s first-team.
“This new role was carefully considered and adds yet another level of support for our players in helping them to play at the highest level possible.
“We believe that Paul is the perfect candidate. He arrives as an extremely highly recommended coach but also clearly still has a lot left to give on the pitch.
“This unique combination is invaluable for our Under-23s team and will further drive the professional standards of the group.
“As an Academy graduate, who has had an outstanding career, Paul knows the club inside out and can pass on this wealth of knowledge every day to our young players.
“Paul will now form part of a team of dedicated experts once again bringing the best external coaching talent to complement our existing group.”